Do You Make The Dream Mistake of Letting Your Feelings Get In The Way?

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Hitting the wall and letting your feelings stand in the way of your dreams

If you pay attention, life will teach you everything you need to know about dream success.

Have you ever noticed that when you meditate on being open to forward movement with your dream, the universe brings change, and you conger up all kinds of negative thoughts counter-productive to your impending metamorphosis?

Let’s say, your dream is to live a healthier life. You surround yourself with healthy images, place affirmations on your bathroom mirror; you set your goal; you check your resolve and meditate on the vision of your new healthy life; then, as if by magic, the universe brings a torrential rainstorm of mishaps into your life.  Your car breaks down; your checking account is suddenly overdrawn; your best friend announces she is moving away; and you end up feeling like eating pasta smothered in a butter-cream sauce . . . and so you do.

You ponder why the universe isn’t in alignment with your healthy intentions.  You feel completely defeated.

But what if the universe is in alignment with your intention?

What if instead of letting the crisis derail your healthy plan, you decide to stick with your resolve — despite the obstacles, despite the apparent setbacks — and you end up encountering someone who is able to help you workout? Or maybe, by just be doing what you promised to yourself, it creates the momentum and drive you needed to stick it out and permanently change your eating habits.

What if the obstacles are the path? What if the crisis is your sign that good things are about to happen if you just stay with your dream a bit longer?

But you have those feelings.

Feelings that are making you anxious, angry or overwhelmed because your morning hasn’t gone as you had planned.

You don’t know everything there is to know about the direction your life is about to take. Have you ever experienced a setback, felt it was terrible, thus leading you to think the most devastating of thoughts — only to months later feel it was the greatest thing to ever happen to you in your life — because of where you ended up?

Your original anxious feelings were wrong.

What would that obstacle-filled morning be like if you choose to look at it as if everything happens exactly as it should for your dream to come true? Maybe the universe, wanting to know that you are serious about your dream, cast a few pebbles — or boulders in the manner of obstacles in your path, just to see how serious you are about your dream.

Or what if the obstacles are there to help you change your path slightly so you move closer to your dream?

You know what I am saying here — it’s those times when it seems like you are finally going to reach your goal, change your life, overcome a bad habit — when something shows up that seems to put it out of reach, or or makes you feel like it’s just not worth the effort anymore.

There’s a little known secret to success, this setback place is actually when you are closer to your dream than ever before. This place that seems to be threatening to push you further away from your dream than ever before, is actually a sign that you are just about to gain what it is you really want.

You have what it takes, or the universe wouldn’t be presenting you with obstacles.

That is — you have what it takes if you don’t quit — or don’t allow your feelings to derail your efforts.

It’s in the quitting that we allow our feelings to crush our dreams.

The only way you push through your obstacles is to examine carefully your feelings of resistance — your feelings of defeat. The reason we resist (and want to give up) is that our ego fears we will self-destruct. It is at this exact moment in our dream path that we must go against our own fear-based inclinations.

We must resist our negative feelings.

In my hometown of Santa Rosa, California, there’s a story I’d like to share as proof.

The company is The Engine is Red, and the owner is Chris Denny.

Back in 2008, Chris and his partner Dan planned to start an event-marketing and production company while they were both working at corporate jobs. The day before they launched their new business, Chris was laid off from his job.

Now how do you think Chris looked at this setback? Did he freak out, get emotional, take it as a sign to quit, and decide not to move forward?


To quote Chris,

We decided it was a sign to move forward faster!

This was at the height of the recession — September 2008 — just when the financial industry collapsed, and the corporate event business moved underground! No company wanted to look ostentatious by throwing lavish parties or celebratory events.

By that Thanksgiving of that year, Chris’ savings was completely gone and the company was within 30 days of shutting down. But a funny thing was occurring as they were not panicking — businesses were approaching them for branding and advertising work, so they decided to change their business idea.

Chris felt that if they allowed their emotions to get the best of them, they would fail. So Chris and his partner gave themselves just 10 days to come up with a new business model. They launched The Engine is Red as an advertising agency.

The rest is history. At the beginning of this November their company is on track to report $250,000.00 in revenue.

Why is Chris and his partner different? Because somewhere inside of them they learned that persistence is crucial to attaining your dreams. They resisted the urge to give up despite the obstacles that showed up. Instead, they came up with a solution and a quick adjustment to their business model.  They also paid attention to what kept coming in their direction: businesses asking them over and over again for something they were naturally good at.

Many people would have given up just before the break-through and missed out on the opportunity hidden in the obstacle.

Can you see that it’s our feelings about these obstacles that get in the way of our dream success?

Instead of allowing a setback to interfere with your healthy lifestyle dream, you could just resolve to re-plan your day, and allow yourself the opportunity to get back on track right away. You can tell your feelings to chill and come up with an alternate game plan.

You should treat your dream like a boat drifting comfortably downstream, letting the river take it in the direction it wishes. Drift with your dream in security, regardless of the turns or speed of the water. A willingness to go where life takes you is the true spirit of the successful dreamer. You will be amazed where you will end up.

If you just don’t let your feelings build a brick wall in front of that dream river.


  • Cath I LOVE THIS POST!!!! Brilliant. Love this quote: “What would that obstacle-filled morning be like if you choose to look at it as if everything happens exactly as it should for your dream to come true? Maybe the universe, wanting to know that you are serious about your dream, cast a few pebbles — or boulders in the manner of obstacles in your path, just to see how serious you are about your dream.”

    OHHHHH so true… it so often happens.. the challenges that arise that as you said may be the universe just reminding us to stay true to our dream, OR nudging us closer to it…

    LOVE your posts. Love how inspiring you are. Love your reminders to stay true to our dreams.

    Love YOU and am giving thanks for you this Thanksgiving Cath! So blessed I found you and the 8womendream team!

    Love always,

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  • Why thank you Rod. A Russian River lifeguard? Healdsburg?

    Congratulations Rod, we love having your insight and comments on 8 Women dream.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you too!


  • Rod


    That was very good advice and insight.

    I like the river analogy. Any old Russian River Life Guard will tell you, if you fight the current your row boat just might capsize or as a swimmer you likely will need saving. Go with the flow.

    In the spirit of this week of Thanksgiving, thank you (and the rest of the “8”) for helping me to deal with my damed river, relearn to let the river flow and to trust myself.


  • Remy, Photographer & CEO of Cornerstone Creative

    I’m not sure if I’m persistent, fooling myself, lucky, or successful. My commitment to my dreams a year or so ago was “just say yes to the things that feel right and important and the rest will happen”. Well, here I am, excited about where I’m at and where I think I’m headed, I can see stuff unfolding, but its been at the expense of consistent health and financial income. Am I just getting used to limping along, living month to month, settling? God I hope not. I’ve just never ‘been here’ before, so I don’t have a frame of reference – and I’m not sure, is my ‘happiness/contentment’ the emotion in the way? I’m guessing those in the way don’t always have to be negative.

    Thanks for the post! xox Rem

    • I am right there with you girl!

      I think you are persistent!